High above the mountains of Norway, three centuries ago, Norwegian skiing pioneer Sondre Norheim, showed the world the grace, elegance and speed of Telemark skiing, also known as “free heel skiing.” Somewhere around the high mountains of Colorado or Utah, you might find Scott Robarge skiing down a white powder slope trying to perfect a technique that is nearly 300 years old.
With awe-inspiring ski jumps that seem to pierce the crystal blue sky, modern Telemark skiing enthusiasts like Scott Robarge carry on the Norwegian tradition across the great snow covered ski slopes of North America and Europe. “Being on the mountain is a unique and special experience, regardless if you’re on a groomer or in the trees. While I pretty much enjoy all things about skiing, I think the rythym of linking your turns is what I enjoy the most,” explains Scott Robarge, a sought after professional recruiter specializing in the technology sector.
Telemark skiing requires a different style and different equipment than traditional alpine skiing. Telemark skiers require great strength and agility to navigate difficult turns and moves along the slope. The skis used for telemarking have a binding that only connects the boot to the ski at the toes, similar to the equipment used in cross-country skiing.
The Telemark turns are led with the heel flat on the outside ski, while the inside ski is pulled directly beneath the skier’s body with a lowered knee and raised heel. The skis are staggered but not exactly parallel, and at least half the body weight is distributed on the outer ski, depending on the weather and snow conditions.
Sondre Norheim is widely considered to be the “Father of Modern Skiing.” He left his home in Telemark, Norway to move to the rugged American Northwest and popularized the sport of skiing. Previously, skiing was generally used as a means of transportation rather than recreation. Today skiing is one of the most popular outdoor sports in the world…